Sunday, Team Civil Defence defeated Team Muller at uncancelable 4:0 to win the third edition of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Tennis Cup 2017 competition.
The champions had worked had to win the major trophy, even after losing their first game to Team Muller. Team Civil Defence has been regular participants, waiting to lay hands on the major trophy.
Aside the trophy, the Team takes home, star prize of Seven Million Naira (N7million); Team Muller received cheque for N5million, in an exciting tennis match at Lagos Lawn Tennis Club (LLTC), Onikan, while Team Offikwu (winners of the 2016 edition) won the Third prize of N3million with Team Ndoma-Egba trailing at Fourth position, raking in N2million prize.
Best host team award went to Team Goshen, while Team Tech Vibe Jos won the Best travelling award.
- Most Outstanding Junior Player- Marylove Edwards (Team CBN Futures);
- Most Outstanding Player (male)- Joseph Ime (Team Muller);
- Most Outstanding Player (female)- sarah Adegoke (Team Offikwu);
- Most Improved Player (female)- Patience Onebamho (Team Goshen) and
- Most Outstanding Player of the Competition- Ikechukwu Iloputa (Team Kalotari)
“The impact, which this tournament has made in the Nigerian tennis circuit gives us in the NCC a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment and we are proud to have used this opportunity to engage a number of Nigerian youth in very fruitful and engaging enterprise with a bright future outlook. We are even prouder to have taken quality tennis to different locations in the country and to see the players improving by the day due to the regular competitions the league offers”.
The EVC who was represented by the Director, Research and Development Department at NCC, Mrs. Abigail Sholanke, said it was gratifying to note that some young Nigerians who were part of the tennis cup had gotten scholarships and sponsorships to tennis academics abroad where they will further their studies and their professional tennis careers.
The NCC Tennis Cup is a team tennis competition that is open to all, including the very best male and female tennis player in Nigeria. “I am glad that the cream of the best and promising Nigerian female and male players are all participating in the league and that a good number of them are now ranked on the ATP Tour. These are some of our expectations and we hope that the players will take full advantage of this NCC Tennis League Cup excel”, the EVC added.
The grand finale gathered dignitaries in the sports family including, Dr Kweku Tandoh, newly appointed Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission; Mr. Babatunde fatayi-Williams, president, Nigeria Aquatics Federation; Mr. Tunde Akinleye, chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938; Mrs. Temi Nziri, team manager, Team VGC Lions, among others.
Speaking immediately after handing over the star prize to the winners, Mr. Tobe Okigbo, corporate relations executive, MTN Nigeria, said that the Company’s involvement in the competition was in line the value addition and youth’s talent development agenda of MTN.
Okigbo said, “We like supporting value addition projects. In this case (NCC Tennis Cup competition), we saw that what NCC is doing and it makes a lot of sense to be part of it. We saw it as an opportunity to support ambitious young Nigerians, especially in developing their skills and talents”.
The twelve (12) participating teams: Teams Tech Vibe, Job; Civil Defence, Abuja; Oluyole, Ibadan; VGC Lions, Lagos; Goshen; Muller; Ndoma Egba; Offikwu; Kalotari; Yetade; CBN Futures and Optiweb.
Part of activities at the event was a special tribute to late Chief Alex Ekwueme, former vice president of Nigeria and a lover of Tennis; who passed on recently.
To this end, the EVC said, “He played tennis until his last days and is a known lover of the game who contributed immensely to the development of the sport”.